Experts ‘keeping close eye on hospital bed numbers’ as SA enters fourth wave






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  • Wits professor Francois Venter says health professionals are closely monitoring hospital admissions and deaths from Covid-19 over the next two weeks
  • South Africa is entering the fourth wave with a sustained surge in Covid-19 infections in seven provinces
  • Venter does not recommend imposing a hard lockdown or other restrictions other than restricting indoor gatherings



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© Provided by 702© svershinsky / 123rf.com

Infectious disease specialist Professor Francois Venter says health professionals will be monitoring hospital stays and deaths from Covid-19 over the next two weeks to begin analyzing the new wave of infections.

South Africa is entering a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, which coincides with the advent of the Omicron variant.

Prof. Venter says it would be premature to predict the severity of the fourth wave before we have data on hospital admissions and deaths, which are usually two weeks behind new infections.

“I think it’s too early to say that,” he tells CapeTalk.

At the same time, he says the fourth wave is likely to follow a similar pattern to the third wave in terms of the spread of infections in different provinces.

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The professor has advised against another tough lockdown or tougher Covid-19 restrictions.

He argues that the government should only revise the rules for indoor gatherings.

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He says that at this point in time, scientists cannot say for sure that the Omicron variant is more transferable than the Delta variant.

However, vaccination specialist Prof. Shabir Mahdi has told CapeTalk that the Covid-19 variant of Omicron appears to be spreading faster.

RELATED: The Omicron Variation Seems To Be More Transferable Than Delta – Prof. Mahdi

Prof. Venter has urged people to get vaccinated, wear masks, practice hand hygiene, maintain social distancing and avoid unventilated indoor spaces.

“When you’re vaccinated, don’t take anything for granted,” he warns.

It’s still very early and people have to be very careful when it comes to making predictions.

Prof. Francois Venter, Director of Ezintsha – Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute

It is spreading very quickly in Gauteng, we see how it is moving very quickly through schools, through jobs, through families ….

Prof. Francois Venter, Director of Ezintsha – Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute

All scientists, epidemiologists and public order representatives will be watching the number of hospital beds very closely from next week, because then we will subject the vaccine program and our immune system from the previous wave to a stress test.

Prof. Francois Venter, Director of Ezintsha – Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute

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